Using EasyTech with Kindergarten and First Grade Students
Are you a primary grade teacher? Are you thinking about how you are using technology with your students?
There’s no doubt about it: we live in a highly technological world. Today’s students are surrounded by technology. They grow up watching their parents and older siblings use all types of devices, software, and apps. It’s amazing to watch the speed and nimbleness with which students operate their mobile phones or small electronic devices. It is part of their daily lives now and will continue to be during college and throughout their careers.
How do we set up students to succeed in today’s digital world? Using computers, mobile devices, and software in kindergarten and first grade means lots of new digital literacy skills to learn.
How do I get started with EasyTech curriculum?
Use Grade Level Pacing Guides for Kindergarten and Grade 1 to become familiar with recommended digital literacy topics covered per calendar year as well as pacing recommendations, tips, and suggestions.
Discussions, Lessons, Quizzes, Application Exercises, and custom curriculum items (including Guided Practices) keep young students engaged and motivated.
Whether you are in a classroom, library, or lab setting use the following guides and resources to help you meet the instructional needs of young learners:
For Recommendations and Best Practices
For Whole Class, Small Group, Work Station Model, Individual Instruction, and At-Home Use
Setting up for Success
Consider using Passports to help your students log in. Passports are printed codes that each student scans in front of the computer’s webcam to log in to Learning.com—no typing necessary! Use the Passports Guide to learn about how quick and easy these can be to set up.
Some districts have student log in via Clever Badges for single sign on. These function the same as Passports. Check with your district administrator to see if this is right for your district.
If you decide not to use Passports or Clever Badges, model and practice logging in and out with a username and password. Have student helpers “drive” the teacher computer and take over the login steps with instructions and reminders from other students. This step will be essential as your students move towards independent practice.
Using interactive EasyTech Lessons as whole group activities will allow you to model efficient use and understanding of the Learning.com online classroom. Take this opportunity to differentiate or extend the learning by using the lesson plan extensions as needed for your students. Lessons can be repeated when necessary.
Gradually releasing the responsibility of logging in and interacting with the lessons can go more smoothly by assigning student “tech buddies” to coach or assist as needed. The ‘teach, not touch’ or ‘point, not press’ approach is an effective way for peer helpers or tech buddies to coach but not take over for students who are struggling.
Have struggling students pair up with their tech buddies to review and revisit any Lessons with a score of less than 90%. Remember to review and model repeatedly during whole group instruction.
Making Keyboarding Fun
Fun, interactive, and visually enticing Lessons introduce young students to keyboarding basics. Use EasyTech’s Touch Keyboarding Discussion lesson plan to guide you. Students (K-1) focus on letter recognition and key location.
If you have a student who presses every key all at once, try using a special band aid around the pointer finger to reinforce ‘one finger, one key’ at a time.
As students become comfortable finding keys on the keyboard, take the opportunity to extend learning and provide application opportunities. For example, allow students to “check in” to class each morning by typing their name or ask students to type the alphabet in alphabetical order on an open document during bell work.
Keeping Students Engaged
Are your students new to Computational Thinking? Remind students that patterns and directions are something they use in school every day. Some examples are days of the week and how to walk in a straight line. Have your students come up with other ways they use patterns and directions every day. Continue to use tech buddies in the classroom to help struggling students build their skills.
Online Safety is important to revisit throughout the year. Remind students to be smart when working online whether at home or at school. Provide parents with resources like the Parent Online Safety Guide to help them keep their students safe online.
Reinforce digital literacy skills throughout the school year. Use the My Resources features to create customized curriculum items (Weblinks, Guided Practices, Activities, and Journals). This is a great way to reinforce visual mapping, drawing tools, and, of course, visiting your favorite instructional safe sites.